Webinar: Reliability and Resilience in the Balance Part 4
October 25 @ 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CDT
Reliability and Resilience in the Balance Part 4 – Storm Impacts and Changes for Telecommunications and Transportation
For most Texans, the concept of electricity reliability is binary – it either works or it doesn’t. Like a light switch, you have access to the electricity that you need when you need it, or you don’t. We also expect the electric system to be resilient. Resilience is the equivalent of the backstop to reliability. It is a measure of the robustness of the system to absorb shocks and either continue to operate, or if it fails, to quickly recover and operate again.
In the early morning of February 15, 2021, the ERCOT electric system, that over 26 million Texans depend upon, failed. The twin impacts of Winter Storms Uri and Viola on Texas and its energy system was catastrophic. The consequences for Texans were tragic. The essential infrastructure that depends upon reliable electricity, from water supply and natural gas to telecommunications experienced cascading failures across their systems and in turn were forced to interrupt the crucial services of drinking water, home heating, and communication across a wide area. Reliability and resilience staggered in the balance.
This 5-part webinar series explores the issues uncovered in the storms’ aftermath by an ASCE Texas Section team of engineers from across the State of Texas. Learn about the energy event that touched all of Texas as we work to answer what really happened, why these problems happened, and what we can do to avoid them in the future. In each webinar, we’ll dig into infrastructure specific issues that arose from Winter Storms Uri and Viola.
Geoff Roberts, Chair, ASCE Texas Section Beyond Storms Committee
Geoffrey D Roberts, Jr. has 38 years of global experience in the energy, water and wastewater field. Geoff is currently serving as an Advisory Board member for FiberSense, a technology company that provides real time continuous sensing as a service on a massive scale to network owners like power, water, natural gas. liquids and telecom companies worldwide.
His career includes technical and commercial experience with NextEra (formerly FPL), Shell Oil, Enron Corp. and Entergy, including international leadership assignments developing and operating fossil and renewable energy infrastructure and building and managing energy origination and trading businesses in North America, Europe, South America, Australia and Asia. During the past 16 years, Geoff has served as a Board member for 8 different private equity sponsored portfolio companies, including 7 as Chairman of the Board, in the energy, infrastructure and environmental space. These companies included Innovyze, Synagro Technologies, Contanda Terminals, Midland Cogeneration Ventures, Peregrine Midstream Partners, Restaurant Technologies Inc, Entegra Power and Primus Green Energy. Geoff has served as president of RRRR Investments LLC, a private investment entity focused on energy, water and the related infrastructure space since 1999. This company is currently commercializing a wastewater technology company based in the UK, developing an off-premise sign company in the southeastern United States and helping to commercially develop an innovative seismic platform focused on finding and producing rare earth minerals.
Geoff earned a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Miami in 1982, and an MBA from Florida Atlantic University in 1986. He is licensed by TCEQ as a Class A wastewater treatment operator. He recently completed an executive certificate in Strategy and Innovation from MIT Sloan. Geoff is currently serving as the ASCE Texas Committee Chair for the Beyond Storms task committee focusing on winter storm Uri. He is a founding member of the Zero Pollution Network (ZPN), based in the UK.
Oliver Smith, Senior Consultant, Smith Professional Services
- BSCE & MSCE – Michigan State University
- Veteran – US Army Corps of Engineers (Captain)
- Construction Engineer – Exxon Company USA, BASF Corporation, Frito-Lay.
- Program Controls Manager – CH2M Hill > City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering
- Senior Project Engineer – 3M Division Engineering > Laboratory and Administrative Office Project Management
- Manufacturing Project Manager – 3M Optimized Operations
- Manufacturing Product Manager – 3M Telecommunications Systems Division
- Manufacturing Plant Manager / Manufacturing Supply Chain Manager – 3M Optical Components Program
- Business Sourcing Manager – 3M Electrical Markets Division
- Sourcing Specialist – 3M Sourcing Operations Construction Contract Administration
- Process Optimization and Resilience Senior Consultant – Smith Professional Service